Skip to Content

Department of Human Services

Adult and Aging Division

Scams and Fraud

Across the nation each year, millions of older adults fall prey to financial scams or fraud. Everyone is at risk, even people without high incomes or assets.

Protect yourself from these crimes by educating yourself through some of the online resources listed below. Visit their websites for safety tips like these:

  • Learn about scams, including those reported in your community.
  • Be skeptical about offers to sell you something you never requested information about in the first place.
  • Don't allow bullying or threats to push you into providing criminals with your sensitive information.
  • Never tell anyone your credit card information, banking details, PIN numbers, Social Security or Medicare card numbers or other personal information unless you know he or she has a legitimate need for that information.

Avoid Coronavirus Scams Aimed at Older Adults

Criminals are using the Coronavirus emergency to get older adults' personal identity and financial information and steal money through scams and false information.

Beware of phone calls, text messages, emails offering "free" masks, testing kits, Covid "cures" or protective equipment. Avoid visitors trying to sell you something, asking for money or offering something "free." You can bet these are scams.

Criminals out to scam you may push you to tell them personal information, including your name, age, Medicare or Social Security number or bank information. They may falsely claim they represent a special government program with services for seniors, but don't provide verifiable identification that they work for the government. 

Learn more about Coronavirus scams at the Office of the Attorney General of California.

To protect yourself and others, report your experience with a scam to the Sonoma County District Attorney's office at (707) 565-5317.

Learn About or Report Scams

It's helpful to keep a list of phone numbers and resources so you can quickly to report a scam, including:

  • your local police or sheriff's office business number (not 9-1-1),
  • your district attorney's office (see link below),
  • your bank and your credit card company (if money has been taken from your accounts)
  • and Adult Protective Services.

Sonoma County Organizations

National Organizations

Adult Protection Hotline

Abuse and neglect affects many older and dependent adults in Sonoma County. Adult Protective Services (APS) responds to reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation and self-neglect involving older adults age 65+ and disabled, dependent adults age 18+.